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SitePoint Web Blog:
On Our Radar PHP 7 Controversy and Dependency Injection
February 17, 2015 @ 09:08:39

The SitePoint Web blog has a recent post with two things that are on the radar when it comes to PHP - the upcoming PHP version and the practice of dependency injection.

To change things up a bit, we're going to start bringing to you items and information from those discussions that have caught our attention. Sometimes these discussions will be useful and interesting, and sometimes they may be challenging or insightful. Either way, they're likely to bring new information to light that you haven't come across before, and will help to provide insight and perspective on topics you're interested in.

He starts with an overview of the controversy surrounding PHP 7 including its name, feature removal and links to some responses to the proposed changes. The second topic, dependency injection, how it might be evil and some of the opinions that have been expressed around it.

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php7 controversy dependency injection di version

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/radar-php-7-controversy-dependency-injection-troubles/

Pascal Martin:
In favor of RFC "Scalar Type Hints"
February 09, 2015 @ 09:40:18

Pascal Martin has a new post today sharing some of his thoughts around one of the currently proposed PHP RFCs for < href="http://blog.pascal-martin.fr/post/in-favor-of-rfc-scalar-type-hints.html">scalar type hinting. PHP has had type hints for custom objects and some things like arrays but this proposal would add in additional ones for things like "string", "int" and "float".

The Scalar Type Hints RFC for PHP 7 has first been initialized in December 2014. It went on with version 0.2 at the middle of January 2015, after changing several major ideas, and is now in version 0.3, integrating return types, as RFC Return Type Declarations has been accepted a few days ago. [...] I've been following this RFC (and the previous ones) with some interest, and, as I've taken some time to play with it a bit last week, building PHP from the sources of the corresponding Git branch, I'll try summarizing here why I think it is interesting. Please note this is my personal opinion.

He starts with a look at what the proposal entails around these new scalar type hints and why he thinks they're a good idea. He looks at some of the things that PHP's current weak typing allows and how it has made the language very flexible as a result. He also shows how the proposal suggests the use of the "declare" function to define a strict typing constant to essentially turn on the checking only where needed. He provides a few code snippet example including object/method handling, setting a custom error handler and which of the calls work in which typing method. He finishes the post looking at the "per-file" idea of enabling the strict typing checks and some of his confusion around the point. He also talks about return types, the directives that are proposed to enable the feature and the current status of the RFC.

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scalar type hint rfc summary proposal php7 opinion overview

Link: http://blog.pascal-martin.fr/post/in-favor-of-rfc-scalar-type-hints.html

thePHP.cc:
PHP breaks backwards compatibility
January 28, 2015 @ 10:41:22

In this new post on thePHP.cc blog Stefan Priebsch talks about some of the backwards compatibility breaks that will be coming with PHP's next major version, PHP7.

According to the PHP project's current time line, PHP 7 is scheduled to be released later this year. The version number 6 will be skipped for good reasons. As is expected of a new major release, there will be some breaks in backwards compatibility. Such breaks are always a double-edged sword: some have been eagerly awaiting the removal of legacy features, others expect that existing software keeps working without modifications. The PHP project is notorious for keeping some sins of the past dating back to PHP 3 in an effort to ensure backwards compatibility. Now, with the release of PHP 7, the decision has been made to remove some features that have been marked as "deprecated" in PHP 5.

He talks about how PHP will be "re-engineered" for this major release including a uniform variable syntax and some of the things this could break (like Magento 1). He also mentions the removal of the mysql (not mysqli) extension and a major issue - that PEAR has stopped working in recent versions of PHP7 (built from the current codebase) because of how it calls non-static methods statically.

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php7 break backwards compatibility deprecated

Link: http://thephp.cc/news/2015/01/php-breaks-backwards-compatibility

Reddit.com:
What changes would you like to see in PHP 7?
January 20, 2015 @ 12:51:08

In the /r/php subreddit on Reddit.com a question was posed to the community: What changes would you like to see in PHP 7?. So far there's 80+ answers with a wide variety of responses.

As well as massive performance improvements, PHP 7's change / feature list is already looking great. You can find most of the features that have been accepted or are under discussion on the PHP Dev Wiki: RFCs section. But what changes would make a difference to you? What would you really like to see make it in (already suggested or a new suggestion)?

Here's just a few of the suggestions made by fellow Reddit users:

  • fixing inconsistencies in naming
  • sandboxed eval
  • a complete rework of the standard library
  • the introduction of generics
  • adding enum functionality
  • type aliasing
  • stack traces for fatal errors

Check out the full post for more ideas and feedback from other members of the community too. It's an interesting list of suggestions, some that are even already in the works.

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php7 changes reddit opinion community language feature improvement

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2sx5x3/what_changes_would_you_like_to_see_in_php_7/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
The PHP 7 Revolution Return Types and Removed Artifacts
January 19, 2015 @ 13:12:14

On the SitePoint PHP blog today Bruno Skvorc has written about the PHP 7 revolution and some of the changes coming with this next major version of the language (including return types and the removal of some functionality).

With the planned date for PHP 7's release rapidly approaching, the internals group is hard at work trying to fix our beloved language as much as possible by both removing artifacts and adding some long desired features. There are many RFCs we could study and discuss, but in this post, I'd like to focus on three that grabbed my attention.

He touches on a few topics in the post including:

  • the debate that came up about PHP 5.7 versus PHP 7
  • The addition of return types from functions/methods
  • The removal of PHP4 style constructors
  • Changes to the extension API

Obviously, since PHP7 is no where near release status, all or some of these things could be subject to change. For example, the removal of PHP4 constructors is still being hotly contested on the php.internals mailing list at the time of this post.

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php7 revolution returntype remove php4 constructor extension api

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-7-revolution-return-types-removed-artifacts/

Nikita Popov:
PHP's new hashtable implementation
December 26, 2014 @ 10:20:10

In his latest post Nikita Popov gives a detailed look at PHP's new hashtable implementation and what kinds of improvements it offers over the previous methods. The "hashtable" handling is how the language references array values created during the execution of a script.

About three years ago I wrote an article analyzing the memory usage of arrays in PHP 5. As part of the work on the upcoming PHP 7, large parts of the Zend Engine have been rewritten with a focus on smaller data structures requiring fewer allocations. In this article I will provide an overview of the new hashtable implementation and show why it is more efficient than the previous implementation.

He starts with an introduction to the concept of hashtables, describing them as "ordered dictionaries" of key/value pairs that (internally) reference values in an array. He looks at the old method PHP used to make these links and how the new version, with the help of zval handling, is different. He talks about how it handles the order of elements, does lookups and the introduction of "packed" and "empty" hashtables. He ends the post with a look at this new implementation's memory utilization and what kind of performance gains we can expect with its introduction in PHP7.

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hashtable array implementation php7 performance memory lookup

Link: http://nikic.github.io/2014/12/22/PHPs-new-hashtable-implementation.html

Halls of Valhalla:
From PHP 5 to 7
September 22, 2014 @ 10:56:32

On the "Halls of Valhalla" site there's a new post the tries to explain the jump from PHP5 to PHP7 and what all that means for the language (and community around it).

Since around 2005 we've heard talk about PHP 6 development. There have even been books sold about it. But where is it? As of July of this year it was decided that there won't be one and that PHP will skip directly to version 7. Why is it skipping to the next major version, and what ever happened with PHP 6? And if we're already jumping to PHP 7, what kinds of features will it have?

They start with a "brief history" of PHP since its inception back in the mid 1990s and follow its evolution at a high level through the years. Then comes the topic of PHP6 and the work that was already being put towards it and integrated Unicode support. It talks about some of the difficulties of this conversion and the delays that ended up happening. Instead, it was decided that things would stay in the PHP 5.x series and 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5 have been created since. The jump to PHP7 came from this vote with several different reasons influencing the decision.

The post finishes with a look at some of the new things that will be coming in PHP7 including major performance improvements, abstract syntax tree functionality and asynchronous programming, allowing for the execution of parallel tasks in the same request.

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php5 php6 php7 community unicode language history features

Link: http://halls-of-valhalla.org/beta/news/from-php-5-to-7,146/

Three Devs & A Maybe Podcast:
News on PHP 7, and how PHP internally works with Joe Watkins
August 28, 2014 @ 09:13:21

The Three Devs & A Maybe podcast has released their latest episode today - Episode #40, News on PHP 7, and how PHP internally works with special guest Joe Watkins. In it the guys talk about the upcoming (major) version of PHP and some of the work Joe's been doing related to Unicode and other parts of the language.

In this weeks show we are very lucky to have Joe Watkins on again to discuss all things PHP 7. Starting off with the decisions behind calling the next release 7, we delve into the reasons for 6 being abandoned. Moving on from this we look into what PHP 7 currently has scheduled to offer, including the PHPNG patch, an AST and maybe Joe's own Unicode String class. We then discuss how a PHP script is internally lexed, parsed/compiled and cached, - including how a JIT would speed up certain use-cases. Finally we touch upon the much requested String type hinting and how a solution similar to Java's could be implemented with minimal hassle.

Other topics mentioned in this episode include: the last PHP 5.3 release ever, PHPNG and upgrading extensions from PHP5 to PHPNG. You can listen to this latest episode either through the downloading the mp3. If you enjoy the episode, consider http://threedevsandamaybe.com/podcast.xml">subscribing to their feed and get the latest shows as they're released.

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threedevsandamaybe podcast ep40 joewatkins internals php7 interview

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/posts/news-on-php-7-and-how-php-internally-works-with-joe-watkins/

PHPClasses.org:
PHP 7 Features and Release Date
August 04, 2014 @ 12:54:58

As Manuel Lemos mentions in his most recent blog post the official name for the next major release of the PHP language has been decided...and no, it's not PHP 6. Based on the results of this vote, the next major version will start off the PHP 7 series.

Manuel talks about some of the reasoning behind skipping over the PHP 6 naming and how it's possible that the PHPNG branch could become the base for PHP 7. Some of the improvements in this release could include:

  • Huge Performance Improvements
  • JIT (Just In Time) Engine
  • AST: Abstract Syntax Tree

As it stands now, there's no predicted release date for PHP 7, but guesses put it between one to three years out, depending on the functionality it plans to include.

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php6 php7 language update major version release

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/242-PHP-7-Features-and-Release-Date.html

PHP Town Hall:
Episode 29 Dont Mention PHP 6 v PHP 7
July 31, 2014 @ 11:04:17

The PHP Town Hall podcast has released their latest episode, hosted by Phil Sturgeon and Ben Edmunds - Episode #29: Don't Mention PHP 6 v PHP 7. In this episode they're joined by guests Paul Jones and Daniel Lowrey.

Paul has recently been talking a lot about "Action Domain Responder" which is billed as a more representative replacement of the often mis-used "Model View Controller" architecture. Luckily he does a good job of ELI5 so we don't get too lost, and we talk a bit about how ADR helps with putting content negotiation in a logical place. Daniel then goes on to talk about a few awesome topics, including some of the OpenSSL changes in 5.6, and a HTTP server he is working on built entirely from PHP. It's async, non-blocking and web-scale.

They also talk about HTTP2, the Aura framework and the PSR-7 HTTP messaging proposal. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player, by downloading the mp3 or you can watch the live recording from the Google+ session.

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phptownhall podcast ep29 php6 php7 pauljones daniellowery

Link: http://phptownhall.com//blog/2014/07/30/episode-29-dont-mention-php-6-v-php-7/


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